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Offered RS lease but don't think prop is RS

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Offered RS lease but don't think prop is RS

Postby kristenp » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:41 pm

Hi there,

I've been offered a rent stabilized lease, on the appropriate form and everything. But I think the owner's wrong about the apartment being rent stabilized. The rent is below market but above the 2700 conventional maximum of rent stabilized apartments. The building is old, so I believe it's unlikely that it's rent stabilized through one of the other programs where a building could be more expensive than 2700 and still rent stabilized.

They showed me a form where the previous tenant paid about 2400, and when he vacated, due to move out and renovations, they raised the rent to 2950. I think the apartment probably graduated out of the program at that time.

If we both sign the rent stabilized lease, is the landlord held to that, even if not rent stabilized- say on a contractual basis? The reason I ask is because the broker's fee is steep, at 15% the annual rent. It's worth it if I get the protections of a stabilized apartment going forward. But I'm worried I'll pay that and then they'll gouge me with an increase next year.

Any way to protect myself here since I can't think of a way I can verify on my own whether the apartment is rent stabilized and have to rely on the owner's representation?
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Re: Offered RS lease but don't think prop is RS

Postby TenantNet » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:34 pm

What do you mean "appropriate form and everything?" I don't think there is one piece of paper that could be described that way.

An apartment being RS is a legal determination by DHCR or the courts, not by a piece of paper from the LL. Having said that, if they lead you to believe that using a variety of methods, it might then be true, and it also can create a reliance on your part.

There is also no such thing as a "market rent." There is unregulated rent that may - or may not - be what the market will bear.

The $2700 (actually $2,774.76 see https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... eshold.pdf) is the rent level where a LL can seek high rent deregulation. There are many RS units that rent above that level. And for High Rent, that's only on a vacancy. Units do not automatically become unregulated once they hit that level of rent.

Any RS lease (including renewals) must have the DHCR rider attached, where the previous rent must be listed. One link for the rider is here: https://www.msnhlaw.com/docs/lease_rider_2018.pdf

Also look for a Preferential Rent rider where they claim the legal rent is higher, but that they will charge less, at least at the outset. That often will revert to higher rents on subsequent renewals. And if the difference is large, that can be a large burden on the tenant.
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